862.857/124: Telegram

The Chargé in the Dominican Republic (Hinkle) to the Secretary of State

48. Legation’s 46, March 11, 4 p.m. The Dominican Foreign Office states that it has no further official details of the Hannover incident other than the facts in the first sentence of its note to the Foreign Minister of Panama. Foreign Office also informs Legation that investigation of crew for the present by Dominican officials is not being conducted since crew is being given asylum in German Legation which is waiting for orders from Berlin. Dominican Government is endeavoring to ascertain whether ship was armed despite statements to contrary by crew. According to an American press representative members of the crew in the German Legation this morning gave him the following authorized information: Hannover spotted unknown warship a few hundred yards away 12:30 a.m. Friday morning 6 miles south of Cabo Engano Light and 2 miles off Dominican coast. The warship was described as a cruiser between 1,500 and 2,000 tons while it was thought another warship was also sighted. About 1:30 a.m. and on being told to stop, crew fired ship and lowered three life boats, one of which was captured by the warship. The Hannover was not fired upon. One life boat with 37 of crew of 92 reached shore about daybreak and afterwards saw two warships, one of which was identified as the French cruiser Jeanne d’ Arc.

Press announcement by the German Legation and statements by two members of crew in written testimony Sunday to Dominican police officials at Higuey are substantially the same as above information.

From other reports, particularly the Dominican schooner Yaqui, it seems that French and British warships have been very active in the Mona Passage and that a German ship identified by the schooner as the Numberg was also detained near Dominican shore between Cape Engano and Punta Juan Illo last Thursday.